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Glendronach 15 Year Old Revival Sherry Cask

Average score from 30 reviews and 92 ratings 87

Glendronach 15 Year Old Revival Sherry Cask

Product details

  • Brand: GlenDronach
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 46.0%

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@markjedi1
Glendronach 15 Year Old Revival Sherry Cask

The GlenDronach is hailed by many is one of the best malts this Speyside distillery has brought to the market. The fact that some releases contain much older whisky – because of depleted stocks of 15 year old malt, imagine that! – it is also very coveted. I tried it before, but gladly try it again, this time a Revival from 2015.

Yes, the nose is sherried wonderfully on balsamico, raisins, walnuts, but also sports some sulphur. I am reminded of new sneakers and even some washing powder. And while this could have easily gone towards an off-note, it does not. It works hand-in-glove with the sweetness that appears immediately after: dades, maple syrup and caramel. After breathing for a while, some chocolate with praline filling arrives, as does some Arabica coffee and mokantine. I’m sold.

It is quite oily and fills the mouth with loads of sherry notes: raisins, figs, dades, but also nutmeg and cloves. Lots of cloves! The sweetness from the nose returns in full force on the palate, upholstered with a touch of rubber that luckily does not go over the top. It flirts with that border though, which makes it intriguing.

The finish is medium long and shows some green herbs at the death.

The Revival – launched way back when Billy Walker gave the distillery a second lease on life – is a top notch whisky. Thanks for the sample, Jeroen!

Interesting review, and especially noting how you have given it a 'rather good' mark, but one that stands in contrast with the 'hysteria' that seems to have taken over once this one was discontinued and seem to have climbed to semi-astronomical second market prices.

This graph shows a rather interesting development on price (blue = price / green = sales rating)

I find it interesting that you refer to it as a Speyside distillery. The Whisky Exchange, Master Of Malt, Wikipedia, and ScotchWhisky.com all list Glendronach as a Highland, but I know there’s been talk of redefining boundaries. Ultimately, regional designations aren’t that important, but what’s the point of this hobby if not to argue over minutiae? stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

@mystycreek

The title is the bottling date, and the bottle number is LJ30017.

This bottle has been opened for more than 5 months. Very chewy and tannic at first, after about a week or two to settle down, it has became a charming whisky dessert.

Nose: Strong sherry notes, orange, dark chocolate, toffee and brown sugar.

Taste: Full body. Fruity and sweet, cream brulee, coffee, chocolate, sherry oak, plums, meat and apple tart.

Finish: Long and chewy, with some tannin on the tongue. Nuts, blackberries, black pepper and fig.

Balance: Very intense and concentrated, sherry and fruit notes dominates the flavor and fallows by some bitterness of chocolate and tannin of wine.

Serge Valentine said it's like older Macallan 18 yo, since I haven't tried any Macallan 18 yo before so I can't compare those two. I am not a big fan of sherry whisky, but I have still got to admit this is very good.

The flavors of this bottle seems to keep fading after opened for two or three months, and became soft and less fruity. Probably makes it from a 90 pts whisky to an 85 pts whisky for me. The score that I give in this review is based on its best performance and I slightly deduct some points due to its low endurance.

PS: Some said this is older than what it says on the label.

wordsofwhisky.com/glendronach-is-a-lot-olde…

@Jules

Last weekend I had the pleasure of tasting this again for the 1st time in almost two years… and oh my, I had forgotten just how much of a home run this malt is.

Plenty has been said about this whisky – the ‘Revival’ truly is the high-class sherry wonder that it is made out to be. So ridiculously smooth… it offers wave after wave of sherry goodness with toffee, chocolate orange, dates, raisin & coffee-bean nuttiness - all swirling around a subtle, spicy wood centre…

This is most certainly no one-dimensional sherry bomb. Contained herein is far more depth & character than ANYthing I’ve encountered at this price point. It is layered and complex. There are both meaty, savory notes AND sweet, fruity sherry flavours present in equal measure. Like some hâute-cuisine oriental dish based on fish-sauce, spices and caramel sweetness, this is a Scotch that satisfies each and every part of the taste and olfactory sense.

Make no mistake, getting this kind of depth and flavor requires not only very good ex-Oloroso casks - but intensive, expert cask management. I have NO idea how GlenDronach manage to supply this kind of quality without operating on a loss in today’s market.
I’d go so far as to say that this is quite simply THE best value Scotch of the last 6 years.

Consider the following: GlenDronach distillery was mothballed in early 1996, and there is no known stock from between late 1995 and 2002, when it was reopened. That means a bottle of 15yo Revival you purchased this past year is pretty much all of 20 years old, at the very least. If I got hold of a 20yo ex-Oloroso single malt cask containing this kind of quality tomorrow, slapped a sexy label on it and put a big fat ’20 YEARS OLD’ on the front then I’d be selling it for 200 bucks a pop, easy.

The GlenDronach 15yo Revival is as complex, smooth and mouth-wateringly good as the older Macallan 18’s (early 90’s vintages). The difference between these two malts here in Europe is a cool €240 / 290$ US.

You can keep your Aberlours, Macallans and Karuizawas - I'll be drinking my stash of Glen-D 15 for the foreseeable future, thanks very much!

I respect your appreciation for this malt. I did like it when I tried a 50 cc miniature, and I recall preferring it to the 18 YO Allardice.

It's currently not available in Ontario so I think there is still a place for A'Bunadh, Mac CS where possible, glenfarclas 105...

I should say though, that my recent brush with a 17 YO 1994 Gen-D CS single cask has me quite keep to pick some up if I can find them at the right price. My own bottle, distilled the year I started medical school (2 months after me) will be opened upon my retirement.

@Jules, thank you for a very lovingly written review.

Like you with Aberlour A'bunadh, I really WANTED to love the Glendronach 15 Revival which I have sampled on at least two different occasions from different bottles. I was very disappointed because I expected great things, and I expected that I was about to discover a new regular staple for myself in the medium intensity sherried malt area. What I had then, had a sherry which I found dirty and of low quality. I will be be eager to sample the 15 Revival again as quickly as I can, in order to discover whether another bottle will taste better to me. The one sample I have had of Glendronach Cask Strength was fabulous, with unblemished sherry quality, and I am an unabashed fan of that particular Glendronach. (@thecyclingyogi, was that Batch # 3?)

Like you, @Jules, I would like to find whiskies that I am going to love. I don't really enjoy having to report it when I don't like a whisky.

@BARutledge

Glendronach - 15yr Revival

46% ABV

Snifter, splash of water, bottle just opened

A very sweet very inviting nose leads to a strong up-front sherry/raisin-flavored body, that finishes with a uniquely long-lasting woody finish with a very nice tingly mouthfeel, which leaves behind it a chocolate aftertaste.

The nose on this whisky is a new favorite of mine. The main theme here is sherry and raisins with subtle chocolate, toffee, and wood notes.

Nose-24: Strong raisins, sherry, brown sugar, subtle milk-chocolate, honey

Body-: Thick, syrupy

Palate-21: Strong sherry and raisins, barley, toffee

Finish-22: Long warming tingly oak, sherry, raisins, and molasses. Quite some time after the sip, some cocoa notes linger.

Balance-23: Take your time with this scotch. Everything seems to last just a little bit longer to develop. Just let the flavors happen...

Overall-90: Overall, this scotch is a new favorite. Typically, the Islays appeal to me most, but I like this one for completely different reasons.

Nice review BARutledge! Recognize many of the flavours, which suggest they have been consistent with batch quality. Here's to them!

@hunggar

Haven’t had this in a while. The Revival is known to fall victim to sulfur taint sometimes, which is what happened to my last bottle. It’s a shame, actually. I really liked it when it was popped, but a rubber flavour set in after a month and seemed to get worse with time. The whisky that I loved at first became undrinkable; I believe I killed the bottle in mixed drinks. But obviously that’s not every bottle. Time to come back to it.

Nose: Layered, with very big sherry. Raisins, figs, oranges, cinnamon, chocolate, plums, roasted pecans, leather. Serious depth here.

Palate: Creamy texture and a medium body. There’s cream, raisins, figs, dates, chocolate, cinnamon, plum, apple vinegar, and red apple skin.

Finish: Quite long and richly layered. Cream, vanilla, sherry, raisins, leather, roasted nuts, charcoal, red apple skin, fruit tobacco.

Thoughts: Not hard to see why this is so popular. GlenDronach doesn’t do superficial sherry; they go for the deep, rich, layered stuff. The richness here works nicely with its medium body and creamy profile. That being said, I prefer the likes of the Cask Strength, the Platinum, and the Octarine, but I can see why this one is basically the ‘flagship’ for the brand. A straight-forward quality sherry with good bang-for-buck, you can’t go wrong. Well… unless it’s sulfur tainted.

Thanks very much, @hunggar.

This is a very interesting review to me, because I love to see the full variability in whiskies honestly discussed. I only sampled Glendronach 15 Revival once. I expected to love it based on what others had said about it, but was very disapppointed. Dirty, sulphured, bad quality sherry flavours. Sounds like I got one of those bad batches, like your first bottle. Even hearing that most batches are not like one that doesn't make it easy to buy a bottle when "off batch" has been 100% of your experience with the brand name.

I've had about six different bottles of this one and have enjoyed all. However there has been some variation, from about 87 to 92. The more recent ones have been the lower graded ones, so I wonder if they are having to now use the lesser quality casks as they are limited by the lack of casks from the mothballed period. It will be interesting to see how they fare when they can bottle their "new" 15's. I haven't had a "new" 12 yet and wonder how it compares to the "old" 12. Anyone able to taste both on this site?

@tjb

Reviewed by @tjb

0 1894/100

OK, so here's the thing. This is a bottle I've had my eye on for a while. It is from GlenDronach who are owned by BenRiach. The distillery was mothballed from 1996 - 2001. My bottle is dated 2014/12/01. Legally the Whisky has to be at least 15 years old to be labelled 15 yrs. So, by my reckoning my bottle is older than 15 years. In fact, it has to be 18 yrs but labelled as 15. Is this correct? I assume so which then begs the question as to why it wasn't bottled as an 18.

Bottled exclusively in Spanish Oloroso sherry casks the colour is dark amber. Good legs.

The nose is thick, sweet, sherry, creamy, oak, demerara, dark chocolate, plums, figs. Wow, it's a nose to breathe in.

The palate offers sherry, leather, oak, chocolate oranges, coffee notes linger. Bursting with dark fruits, figs, plums, dates.

The finish is warm, spicy, sherried fruits that go one and on

There are so many whisky awards that it dilutes the value but this was TWE of the year 2015. I agree, it is a cracker. Buy a bottle right now!

@tjb First, thanks for the lovely review. Do you get any notes of peat or coal anywhere? Supposedly they were drying their malted barley with peat and coal (the barley was peated to around 14ppm) and using direct coal firing when this liquid was distilled. I haven’t tried a bottle of the 15yo in five years . . . very curious . . .

The issue with “why the 15yo label when all the liquid is older” has been touched on by several people already . GlenDronach is not the first (or last) to do this. The gold standard that all single malts are striving for is consistency in an age statement from batch to batch. Old Pulteney (as @CognacFan correctly pointed out) does this with their 12, 17, and 21 year old expressions. They are trying to keep the “expressions” consistent. The master blender can tell that this cask at 10 years old should be kept for the 21yo and not used for the 12 or 17 because of its profile. They are actually going for certain characteristics in each expression. I believe that GlenDronach is doing something similar with their 12, 15, and 18 year old expressions.

Ardbeg is a classic example of this. They were closed from 1981 until 1989. They opened with a large production in 1990, but then had extremely limited production (2 month out of the year) between 1991 and 1996. They closed in 1996 and didn’t start production back until the end of 1997.

SO the standard TEN which came out in 2000 must have contained liquid distilled prior to 1990 (a big year of production). By the time you got to early 2007 every drop of liquid in the TEN was older then 10 years - most of it being 12, 13, 17 and some even older! This is why bottles with a code L7 and L6 are desirable because it really is a much older expression of Ardbeg TEN then the label would suggest (or is being bottled today).

Take the Ardbeg 17yo which was produced from 1997 until 2004. In 1997 all of the liquid was 17 years old and older. HOWEVER for five years from 1999 until 2004 all of the liquid was far older then 17 years. In the last release of the 17yo in 2004 the youngest liquid could only have come from 1981 . . . which means it was really 23yo and older liquid in the bottle. Why keep the name the same? Consistency. The Glenmorangie TLC (the owner) was trying to produce a consistent product that they hoped would be a standard expression moving forward. A portion of the unpeated Ardbeg made in 1980 and 1981 was a large component of the 17yo. This gave it a less smoky and less peaty characteristic than typical Arbeg.

Back to GlenDronach (closed 1996-2001): I believe that we can safely assume that they are going to continue this process of releasing the 15yo Revival with much older stock in it. I don’t know if they had any product being produced 2 months out of the year (like Ardbeg) to simply keep it open. I am actually inclined to think this didn’t happen. Being “mothballed” usually doesn’t mean this. When the BenRiach Dist. Co. bought GlenDronach in 2008 I am certain that they took a look at the stock, what had been produced from 2002 until 2008, and tried to figure out what their “core” range would be moving forward. My belief is that the liquid in the 15yo Revival will not change to the “new distillate” made in 2002 until after May 14 2017 (production began again on May 14, 2002). That will be a big time to look for a change in quality.

Until then, continue to quaff the GlenDronach 15yo Revival in full assurance that all the liquid in the bottle is going be older than 19 years, and in 2016 older than 20 years.

As to why it might not “taste” older? That is all about the quality of the casks. Many distilleries will re-rack casks into less active barrels to maintain the characteristics they want. You really see this with older age expressions where the distiller doesn’t want the liquid to get too much oak, but where the liquid still needs several more years in casks to be usable in the 25 or 30 year old expressions. I would bet that GlenDronach has done this in preparation for both the 15 and 18 year old expressions.

@Nozinan I think it is a distillery offering good service. They have a loyal following and if they pulled the 15 and tried to bump everyone up to the more expensive 18 it would annoy consumers and possibly lose them customers. It hasn't cost them any more so they are selling a superior product, winning awards and that will do them a lot of good in the long run. They could have gone NAS and mixed in younger spirit but I appreciate the integrity.

@Georgy

I'll add more details to the review as I am sure this whisky will reveal some other characteristics over time. But for now..I've tasted it 3 times and here's what I think of it:

SMELL: the initial smell is thick, dense caramel, then come hints of toffee, coffee and menthol. With a drop of water it mellows down and the caramel gets even more prominent. There are also aromas of milk chocolate, latte, Crème brûlée, orange zest, rich strawberry marmalade!

TASTE: starts off dry, exploding into nutty cake-like sherry sweetness which eventually subsides leaving behind some sour cherry notes, cola;

FINISH: long and comforting; there is something in there that reminds me of Lindt dark chocolate with chili;

CONCLUSION: WoW!! Maybe I am not spoiled enough to judge, but for me - this whisky is THE BEST sherried whisky I have tried so far. Taking into consideration that it is not chill-filtered and natural color ...WOW! Unique!

I've never had the Ab12 non-chill. It's hard for me to spend 60+ dollars on a 12, when I can buy an older statement for same or a little more. But, if its a a bar I'll definitely will give it s shot. Thanks @fmichael .

There is a reason why Ralfy picked this as "whisky of the year 2012" in review #329. I like their 12yo double cask. I haven't had the chance to try it,but I assume that this has to be way more decadent than the 12. Can't way to try it. Cheers!

@jackjajack

This 15 year old Glendronach marks the release of whisky under new distillery ownership. Matured in Oloroso sherry casks, this was awarded a Silver Medal at the 2009 Malt Maniacs Awards.

I don't understand your review. This is wonderful whisky with a fantastic nose. Maybe you should start with blends to develop your tastes. Or your palate and nose is affected by too much peated whiskies.

Oh, sorry, the note is copied from master of malt, and I can not edit it when I published this review. In factly, this is my first Glendronach bottle, with smooth and caramel sweetly. The long finished with fruity, leaves me a nice memory in Glendronach.

@Rantavahti

Glendronach 15 year old Revival is an exceptional whisky. The best sherry whisky, I've tried so far. A 90 point score, from a guy who usually doesn't go for the sherry finish!

This one is greatly in balance, managing to bring the sherry nicely and smoothly, with a rich palate. A reincarnation of something great, like Nouvelle Vague by Jean-Luc Godard. Godard's film being a bit more harder to understand...

Glendronach 15 yrs Revival is complex, yet easy to drink. The smoothness makes it that way.

Nose: First some sherry with hints of rubber on the side. Becomes malty with citrus and dried fruits feel. Great toffee comes with water.

Taste: Full and thick dram: toffee and malt dominate with nuts and sherry in the background. Some dryness as well: dark chocolate and dried fruits.

Finish: Spicy and oaky, dry and warming. Aftertaste brings sweet and fruity notes.

Balance: Very rich and full. Great sherry whisky.

Interesting, I just posted my review of this 2 days ago; I think we maybe only experienced the nose differently, but the rest makes sense to me. It is also interesting that you liked this one so much! I would consider this sweetly sherried, and I remember from your review of GlenDronach's 21yo that you're not a fan of sherried malts (in fact I remember thinking it was the lowest score I'd seen for the Parliament!). But this 15yo seems to win over a lot of people-- It got you, too!

Yeah, it's funny I didn't feel much for the 21YO Parliament, a dram that got all of my sherry whisky drinking buddies excited. But this 15YO Revival was magnificent. I do have a "track record" of liking the younger expressions (10-15 yrs) more than the very old ones (18-21 yrs), so in that retrospective, this shouldn't be a surprise for me. The fact that a sherry finish gets 90 points from me, surely is!

@vanPelt

For some reason it took me a while to get into GlenDronach; I was not disappointed when the time finally came.

Nose: After clearing some initial vapors (sneakers, hay-like walnut oil, varnish): Rich melted chocolate, coconut oil, and some walnut. The next slow breath added raisin and vanilla. Finally, the milk chocolate, raisin, vanilla, walnut all seem to blend together. There is only one small deviation from this fudgy delight… celery? Yes, celery root, light enough to not detract from the rest of the aromas.

Palate: Enters with sweet honey, slightly tangy raisin, and then tannic (nutmeg-y) cocoa. Held in the mouth, the tannins pass to walnut with supporting oak spice/hazelnut on the tongue. Then a raisiny impression comes from back, seeming thick and still with vanilla-walnut. (I only sense the nose’s celery if I really look for it.)

Finish: Sensation of cocoa raisin sustains, together with vanilla in the throat, and the tongue has some drying from tannic walnut.

Wow, I really love this; what a delight for a reasonable price! In terms of value and quality, this is a contender to the Glenfarclas 15. A reserved oxidized sample has, once again, picked up grassier notes after a couple weeks; so I will be taking special care of my bottle.

It’s not very similar to the GlenDronach 12yo, being less vegetal hay and more raisin cocoa. It’s less spicy (ginger/clove) than the 18yo, or the 21yo for that matter. The 15yo has a “thicker” feeling to it, if less spice-influenced sophistication. I think it’s a toss-up with the 21yo; I just want to keep drinking the 15yo, but the 21yo will suit more contemplative times.

I thought it made sense to compare this to the Glenfarclas 15 and the Glenmorangie Signet, so I also tasted these head-to-head. Both of these have elements of milk chocolate, oak, and nuts; and I consider all three to have similar high intrinsic quality.

The Glenfarclas 15 might be the closest of the Farclases I know (10/12/15/21/25/30/40), and it might sound logical to compare two 15-year-olds— but in fact these are very different malts. Drunk side-by-side, the Glenfarclas 15 seems much more serious, the GlenDronach sweeter. The Glenfarclas seems like salty nougat (cashew/walnut) with leathery bran. Meanwhile, the GlenDronach’s sweet coconut-oil seems more obvious, and its nutty quality seems more like hazelnut rather than walnut, since the Glenfarclas 15 has such a strong walnut quality.

The Signet is actually closer to this GlenDronach, relative to the Glenfarclas 15-- but of course the Signet is still significantly different. Both have milk chocolate, but the Signet is certainly oakier (much more nutmeg) and also has more elements of coffee and vanilla. (The Signet also has an even thicker mouthfeel.) Meanwhile, the GlenDronach is clearly nuttier and adds the touch of raisin.

In any case, this GlenDronach is in good company.

@VanPelt For me, this one is a crowd pleaser. Those who says that they don't like that the finish take over, will probably snob this one, but the Revival offers some of the best Sherry notes I ever encounter. It s big on dates and chocalate. I agree with you, this is one of the best value on the market!

Thanks vanPelt. Nice review. I saw this offered at a store near me and was not familiar with it. I feel more comfortable giving it a try now.

@MaltActivist

Glendronach seem to have a cult following. I follow their page on Facebook and can see the intensity and the passion that the fans have for it. And I think that's fair. It is a wonderful distillery with some very special releases. Their single casks are a stuff of legend, though, feel that their core range could do with a bit of a lift.

This 15 year old sherry bomb has quite a reputation and even before I started writing anything about it I posted a pic of it on the Malt Maniacs Facebook page. The response was immediate and quite flattering.

But do I think this one is the stuff of legends? Well,not really.

Nose: I think I can sniff out the Oloroso Sherry cask from a mile away. It is so strong and meaty that there can be no doubt. Once the black salts fade away you are greeted with a black pepper rum and fudge cake liberally sprinkled with chopped pistachios and cardamom seeds. Oxidization brings out red wine tannins and black raisins. I think the Oloroso overpowers and doesn't let the malt speak.

Palate: Chocolate and mocha form the base of this delivery. They are then layered with black peppercorns, cinnamon and cardamom pods. Once again quite thick and chewy with the Oloroso.

Finish: Creamy long with cinnamon.

I like this whisky but I think the sherry is far too overbearing in all aspects. I would have liked to see a more measured sherry finish because I feel the base malt is quite good. But maybe that's what the people want. And I've seen enough fans to prove that.

Oh well...

Nice review, @tabarakRazvi, and I mostly concur with your conclusions. In my view the 15-year old is a good example of sherry influence gotten out of hand (there are people who absolutely love this, I know). While I like the chewy and chocolaty palate, I would have preferred the sherry not taking that much of center stage. I wonder what you think about the 18-year old that I find to be much more balanced.

Hi @Pierre_W I reviewed the 18 Year Old Allardice a while ago (is that what you're referring to?) and found it a bit rough around the edges. But to be fair that was a while ago and my senses have improved since then. I might give it another visit for the sake of comparison.

@Aulay

A great nose (caramel, cocoa and orange) is a perfect start to a thick malty delivery. So much going on here sweet and salty at the same time. A thick chewy malt is surrounded by influences of raisins, toffee and mocha. There's that orangey marmalade sweetness again. A nice long malty sweet finish to boot. Very nice, Slainte Mhath!

@mattberg

This is interesting stuff.... great aromas of coconut, rum, raisins, tobacco, limes and barley..... take your time with this, leave the bottle open for an hour then pour and leave the glass for a while

This really opens up with water, better than any other whisky I can remember. And wow what a difference, reminds me of Highland Park 25yo.. lush, complex fruit, spice, syrup, floral like a classy french perfume.

On the palate it's a dry fruity arrival followed by a blend of rum raisin, sap, parchment, coconut, old oak, water melon with a floral sweet and tobacco finish. Definitely some older whisky in there....

I'll try this next with a nice cigar over Christmas and will buy a bottle of the cask strength for sure.

L

This was a very anticipated bottling considering the wide array of praise it got from the whisky community, and not only sherryfans it seemed. This is no doubt hinting to the overall quality of this malt, but it was also hinted that older (or even way older) whisky was used in this, i can say after having sampled it, that the rumors appear to be correct.

Glendronach is on the eastern border of the Speyside region. It was mothballed in '96 before re-opening shop around '02, this bottling here is their way of paying tribute to the succesfull new ownership under Benriach (which is a malt i will try to sample soon, considering their sherry oloroso and PX bottlings).

The Revival is then a tribute malt, and without reciting more history, since i only wanted to sum up the recent part of it.

Nose: Sherry and very big, but sophisticated, nutiness! All kinds of nuts but the ones i can really point out are probably hazelnuts (first) then almonds and maybe some roasted.. pecan nuts maybe? Toffee and sweet cacao completes the nutiness on the nose very nicely. More bittersweet sherry with sultanas caps off the nose. A very soft, delicate and sophisticated nose this!

Palate: Wonderfull measured sherry arrival! Chewy bittersweet oak (good age) with caramelized or sugared barley. Salted raisins (Bunna-style), slight leather, nutmeg, oranges and some dark-chocolate dipped strawberries. This is a laid-back malt that would be as good an ambassador as any for sherried scotch or scotch in general for that matter, i can really fathom and comprehend the praise it has recieved.

Finish: Delightfull bittersweet wood tannins, with a minty note (spear mint?) and a very well composed malty final straight with a bit of oranges and vanilla.

Glorious old-school sherried scotch, but not only for old-school malt-drinkers, it manages to have a skillful spread of a flavour profile that would satisfy almost any mind that seeks quality.

Not a 100 mile/hour, or 50 or 30 or even 10, this is a mellow, sophisticated senior malt. But an energetic old-timer that keeps you invested in it's story of flavour.

Thanks WhiskyBee :) Will review the 12 year old in a few months when i'm done with my current malts the other 'dronach i have right now is the quite recently released cask strength (batch 2) can't wait to see what awaits!

Great review. I have an unopened bottle which is now going to the top of the pile!

@Volks

This is a craft presented very affordable 15 y/o whisky from GlenDronach, a distillery who in the last 2 or 3 years have really come to the fore with their age statement range (12-21 year old). Of this range i've only tried the 12 and the 15. This is the 15, makes for great reading, even better tasting.

  • Nose: deeper plums, rich dates, prunes, tobacco, some leather, apples and pears are still around (as in the 12) but more restrained, very sherried Christmas cake, cinnamon, ginger and some milk chocolate. With water big time toffee and richness, much more vanilla comes through, some mocha but overall a little less savoury and spice, however it’s beautifully decadent.

  • Pallet : sweeter and beefier, then some old wood notes come through leather, tobacco (maybe Montechristo tobacco), dare I say smoke! Overripe fruits, nice spices to break things up, burnt caramel. There is some alcoholic nip however. With water smoother, more ginger, chocolatey, vanilla, much richer again still some lovely tobacco earthiness as well.

  • Finish: creamy sherry, lovely smooth finish, armchair leather hangs around, fades into really gentle spices and some wood tannins. With water lighter caramel on the finish, balance tips to being more sweet than savoury, slowly but surely the ginger and mocha notes emerge though. Great length.

  • Mark neat – 8.4, with water 9.1

PHEW!!! that alot of writing for one night, i might need another dram! and what a shame..... Seriously though this is a brilliant whisky, absolutley perfect for me, its well made, great tasting, complex, individual, very affordable, i haven't had the Adunndah for a while, but i think this gives it a good run for its money.

@Jules, for me the A'bunadh has long been the best bang for your buck whisky from Speyside now i think this gives it a fair push thats what i was really trying to compare i think your right that they aren't massively similar taste wise.

Your Macallan point is a great one, i recently attended the Sydney Whisky Fair and the new Macallan range was there in all its Amber, Sienna and Gold glory, honestly i didnt talk to one person who enjoyed them, there are good macallans out there but they a criminally expensive!

thanks for the tip ill keen BenRiach in mind, cheers

This is an excellent sherried whisky! I had a bottle about a year ago when out of town (can't get it locally) and finished it off in three days. Needless to say, it was very enticing. Water opens it up and brings out wonderful complexity. Much better than the 12, which is still quite good.

s

It's been awhile since I've tried Aberlour A'Bunadh, but this is the only whisky I've ever tried that gives it a serious run for its money. It's not cask strength, but goddamn, it's one hell of a sweet and succulent sherry monster. It's drawn from first fill sherry casks for sure, and it's one of the best mass-produced heavily sherried whiskies I've ever tried. It's super dark, and that isn't always an indicator of flavor or quality, but there is lots of dark, sweet mocha and vibrant mint-like flavor present here. Without drawing this out, this is essentially like drinking a dessert wine that's over 40% alcohol. It's decadent to the point that having a second glass will give you the same kind of guilt that having a third slice of cake would. What's even more amazing is that I keep seeing this go down in price. I think it's well worth what I paid for it and now I see it going for less. It is without a doubt better than Macallan 18 with retails for almost twice the price and it's as good as Glenfarclas 17 which is still more expensive. It's primarily a sherried whisky, but there is some more to it. There's some tea in the nose and some great ripe herbal notes in the taste alongside with a meaty body with just a hint of smokiness in the finish. I wouldn't normally encourage a distillery to do this as it would just end up hurting my pocket, but I think they could easily charge for for this than they are charging now. It's an absolutely fantastic monstrously sherried whisky and I hope it stays this way. Excellent job Glendronach, and I look forward to trying your other offerings!

I tried a miniature and was very i pressed. I liked it better than the 18 "allardice". I'm looking forward to the cask strength

@Wills

After trying the 12yo as an introduction I was eager to try the Revival. I was reading really good stuff about this bottle and so the expectations were quite high.

On the nose I am getting lots of sweetness, caramel and wine gums. Compared to the 12yo it is darker (but not sweeter) in color and nose. There is dark chocolate, ripe oranges, wild honey and even eucalyptus. A complex profile, everything is really round and nicely integrated. It is a strong and dense aroma, like a very sweet and complex fog of stewed oranges and lots of other ingredients.

It has an intense attack but nonetheless is really soft. The full body is quite chewy. On the palate is caramel, honey, some spices like ginger and even some saltiness. There is also a nutty bitter-sweetness.

The finish is dry, long and sweet. There are some oaky spices and oranges.

Overall a darker version of the 12yo. Again a nice value for money.

@hunggar

This whisky is essential to any sherry lover's cabinet. It's got such a wonderful body and such rich complexity that I would recommend this were it twice the price. Luckily for us, it isn't. This whisky is very affordable and very good. I read a lot of reviews before I invest in a bottle, and I sometimes come up disappointed. This one lives up to the fantastic reviews it gets.

Nose: Orange chocolate for days. Mild spices and rich fruits. Complex.

Palatte: A ton of raisins and/or dates. Figs. I almost taste twigs. Not a wooden flavour, but earthy and, yeah, kind of twiggy (I might be wrong there). A strong sherried body with a lot of areas to explore. More citrus. Not lemon, orange. A bit of a rubber in there, but not too chemical. Some toffee comes up and smoothly pulls you into the finish.

Finish: Orange, mild spice, with the strong, dry sherry flavours still dancing about. The tannin is there, but its not aggressive. This whisky doesn't fade gently, instead it retains a lot of its core flavours from start to finish.

What a great dram. I would buy this even if I were a millionaire collector of fine, exotic, aged whiskies. It's got all the elements you want from a sherried whisky. There's a full, dynamic, rich body without any harshness. This whisky is big, bold, and beautiful without being too rough around the edges. Remarkably smooth given its bold presence. And once again, it's affordable! You won't be disappointed. You can trust the reviews on this one.

Just an update for you guys:

This bottle has changed quite dramatically since I first opened it a couple months ago. When I first popped it open there was a mild hint of rubber in this whisky. After leaving the bottle along for several weeks I have to say that rubbery flavour has taken over. It's gotten a heck of a lot worse. In fact, oxidization seems to have kicked this whisky's ass! I hope this is just a dud bottle, because my first impressions of this whisky were phenomenal.

New score: 72. Yeah, it's THAT much worse. I've never experienced such a dramatic decrease in quality, nor have I seen it happen so quickly. Ironically, I was told this was a very consistently good whisky with very few fluctuations in quality. Eeeesh.

Rigmorole; Appreciate your feedback to my reviews. New here, so I"m glad to see my reviews aren't falling on deaf ears. Onibubba; I haven't tried the 18, but from what I've heard the Revival is the best of the standard Glendronach releases, but I'm not free to confirm that personally, unfortunately. All I can say is that the Revival IS reasonably priced and very tasty. Worth hunting down to find IMHO.

@SquidgyAsh

Tonight when I got home from work, I'm tired, I'm sore and I decided that I needed a nice dram to take the edge off, to absorb me into the world of whisky.

Fortuitously I have a steady supply of such whiskies, thanks to my wife and Master of Malt.

Tonight I went, yet again, for a distillery that I'd never tried before, which is the way I like it, something new, something different.

See the thing about me and whisky is that I treat old favorites like an old friend where you both know one anothers tall tales, you know about the one that got away.

You enjoy one another, you know where your stories are going to go and you go together like peanut butter and jelly.

You can also be a little bit too predictable.

This is why, at least for me, that variety is the spice of life. I'm always looking for the next new whisky to become one of my new old friends.

Tonight I was introducing myself to GlenDronach 15 Year Old Revival Sherry Cask.

Aged for 15 years in Oloroso Sherry casks for 15 years this whisky pours a lovely deep dark golden color that just makes me smile.

It's a typical sherry nose, dark fruits like raisins, toffee, chocolate, hints of vanilla and smoke (which is interesting!), quite an earthy feeling nose. Underneath it all is a faint aroma that is rubbery and the only low point in the aroma.

Time for a taste though!

Again it follows like a nice typical sherry bomb!

Raisins, toffee, chocolate, burnt coffee, wow some nice nutty flavors there along with some spices.

Mmmmm quite enjoyable.

The finish is long, dry and spicy with the burnt coffee and chocolate shouting out.

A very enjoyable and solid sherry bomb style whisky, a whisky that tastes more intense then the 46% abv that sits at, which makes me happy, it's more intense, but not in a bad way.

This is one of those whiskies that I'd totally go to when I wanted to introduce someone who's never experienced a really nice sherry whisky before, right before I move them to the Aberlour Abunadhs.

I've sadly yet to see this whisky for sell in Australia, but I'm willing to guess that this bad boy would be running close to $100 AUS if you could find it, which is a pretty damn good deal. Mind you at that price I'd still go with Aberlour Abunadh instead, but if I wanted something a little less intense I'd be heading straight here.

I have the Glendronach 15 and Aberlour Abundadh in my stash. Can't wait to try the Glendronach! I've never had a Glendronach before, so this will be my first. When I bought the bottle, it was the last one in the store. Not many left in Portland. But first, I'm going to open my Tobermory 15.

I weigh 222 and I'm using it to coax myself down to 215. When I hit 215 on the scales, I will open the Tobermory. Then the Glendronach at 205 and a bottle of Old Pultney 21 when I'm at 195. Not sure after that, but I plan to get down to 185. Perhaps the Aberlour Abun. Batch 39 for 185. Sounds lame, I know, but it's a good way to encourage myself to loose weight. I'm six feet tall and too heavy right now. Well, perhaps I shouldn't have confessed my diet plan, but there it is! Ha! Swimming every day, hitting the weights and drinking a good dram of whisky after a light supper. That's my diet plan this winter.

Thanks for the review. I have tried Revival and was too intimidated to review it. I was able to note some characteristics of this whiskey, one in particular, cardamon. But there was so much depth in the flavour that I couldn't quite figure it out. A lovely scotch regardless, one that needs to be enjoyed alone since I was spent after over working my gears trying to analyze it. For now I've raised my white flag and I will return for another round, another day.

Thank you for sharing this one. I enjoyed the review amongst many others you've written.

Cheers!

@abunadhMatada

Color: Deep Amber

Nose: Sherry, Buttery Toffee, Sweet Caramel

Palate: Sherry, Sweet Black forest cake, Maple syrup, toffee, sweet roasted nutty flavors

Finish: long lingering

I really love this expression of GlenDronach. ITs got big flavors, complexity, and that lingering finish. one of the best sherried scotches i've had. After a week or two somehow this whisky got more complex and opened up so much,,, too hard for me to describe what all is going on in the palate, but it has become more complex. Bottle is now half empty, and will be sipping this nice and slowly.

@WhiskyBee

On one hand, this is a heavier version of the GlenDronach 12 yo Original. On the other, it's much more than that. A bigger, gutsier whisky than the 12 yo, its layers are also more clearly defined and prominent. I mentioned in my previous review that the 12 yo was a good summertime whisky. This one is a winter warmer (although it tastes great on this 90-degree August day as well!).

Nose: I detect some of the same elements as the 12 yo, albeit much earthier and bolder. The sherry and vanilla have become one, while a touch of barbeque smoke and spice hang around on the sidelines.

Arrival: Unlike the 12 yo, this one really announces itself immediately. Again, sherry and vanilla dominate.

Development: Gets spicier and meatier in a hurry, although previous tastes linger -- this one doesn't change so much as it keeps adding layers. Wood and smoke slathered with honey and Worcestershire sauce.

Finish: Fairly long, with the increased dryness and spiciness providing a good balance to the sweetness that came before.

In all, this whisky was a case of love at first dram. I also rate it a bit higher than the 12 yo owing to no coloring, no chill filtering, and its 46% ABV. There are a few whiskies I may prefer to this, but it's definitely in my top five. For what it is, I find little room for improvement.

Great review, Have an empty bottle of this on the wall, unfortunately I finished it and forgot to take tasting notes before hand. If you like this you have got to keep an eye out for some of Glendronachs single cask bottling. The good ones are out of this world.

@Pierre_W

This single malt has been part of GlenDronach's core range since it was launched in 2009 by the distillery's new, independent owners. It replaced the 15yo that was available in the 1990ies.

The nose is wonderfully sherried, with dark fruits such as raisins and figs, also chocolate, toffee and last but not least lots of rubber (in a good way but very distinct nevertheless).

The palate is full-bodied, rich and smooth - this is nice! Again there is coffee and some rubber. A certain spiciness prevails at the end of the tongue.

The finish is medium long and dry.

This is an excellent single malt, mostly thanks to the mighty palate and the sherried nose which, however, is a bit tainted by the distinct rubber influence.

@Max

This one is pleasant, with obvious sherry influence. Has quite good balance. Adding water reveals more aroma and fruits.

Nose: apple pie, raisins, bit of smoke and rubber Palate: varnish, fruits, sweet malt, honey Finish: dark chocolate, sherry, some bitterness

@markjedi1

This 15 Year Old GlenDronach 'Revival' (batch 2010) is a classic in the GlenDronach range, so no wood finish. It was matured on oloroso sherry casks. ‘Revival’ refers to the… err… revival of the distillery in 2008, when it was procured by BenRiach, with Billy Walker as the frontman.

The nose has all the features of ‘full sherry’: raisins, walnuts, espresso, balsamico and even a trace of smoke. But the whole is somewhat overshadowed by a touch of rubber, like new gym shoes kids take to their first school day.

On the palate, it’s quite mouthcoating with again the sherry traits as absolute ruler: raisins, figs, prunes, dark chocolate and cloves. Quite a bit of cinnamon and Italian coffee. Of the sulphur, thank the Maker, no trace.

The finish is nice and long and pretty spicy.

Apart from that sulphury touch on the nose, this is a beautiful, heavily sherried whisky.

@Kutter

I bought this bottle to my friend for its birthday. I knew that he would like to cracked it open the same night so we can taste it together and I didn't get disappointed. We took one third of the bottled out that night. I bought it without having ever tasted a GlenDronach. The Olorroso sherry matured 15 years old made be believe that it would look like the HP18, which I really like.

Nose: Quite complex with nutty notes, spices, rubber, toffee and vanilla. The rubber makes it a bit odd, but the complexity makes it very enjoyable.

Mouth: The nuts, spices and toffee follows with some coffee and chocolate notes.

Finale: medium to long. shorter than I expected.

The whisky is good, but it is far from the sherry monster branding of HP18. It is very complex on the nose, which is cool, but the finale is a bit disappointing.

@jwise

I am a huge sherry fan. I like big, powerful, sherried whiskies. However, I'm not always in the mood for a cask strength whisky. I was turned on to Glendronach 15yr Revival as being highly rated and one that fit my favorite flavor profile. This is my first Glendronach.

Glendronach 15yr Revival is bottled at 46% ABV, and is a nice copper color.

Nose: Lots of sherry, but a bit wine-like. This reminds me of the Aberlour 15yr Sherry Finish. Chocolate covered strawberries. But, sweeter than that. Maybe Maraschino cherries in a liquid center covered in light chocolate. A bit "too" sweet for my nose. But there is something darker in there. I'm not sure if smoke is the right word, but definitely a strong malty note.

Palate: Warming in the mouth. Semi-sweet on the tongue. Dark, bitter chocolate. Some burnt toffee.

Finish: More maraschino cherries on the finish. Long finish.

Very good. Perhaps too sweet for my taste. Wow. This is really delicious. I might need something salty to go with this whisky. Obviously the balance isn't the best on this whisky, as it needs something else to round it out. However, it IS delicious, and if you have a sweeter tooth than me, this whisky is for YOU!

@WhiskyNotes

Nose: There certainly are sulphurous notes in this bottling. The first thing I get are mushrooms, a dirt bin and some rubber. Now this is personal, some people like it, others don’t. I have difficulties with it, but let’s move on. Very clear oloroso sherry influence as well: raisins, balsamico vinegar, coffee, mint… Slightly herbal. Subtle smoke as well. Mouth: good mouthfeel. The sherry continues with raisins, dark chocolate, figs, prunes and (slightly bitter) coffee notes. Still a bit dirty if you ask me. Finish: spicier on cloves. Quite long.

I guess I'm one of those people who think it's ok. ;)

@dbk

Reviewed by @dbk

0 1382/100

The “Revival” expression marks the renaissance—literally—of the GlenDronach distillery. A Speyside distillery, GlenDronach was “mothballed” in 2000, but resumed production in 2002. Ownership changed hands from the Chivas Brothers arm of Pernod Ricard (having acquired Allied Domecq, having acquired William Teacher and Sons, the previous “proper” buyers of GlenDronach) to BenRiach, the current owners, in 2008. Ingeniously, Master Distiller Billy Walker and his BenRiach colleagues decided to expand the GlenDronach range beyond the commonplace 12 year-old and the uncommon 33 year-old expressions with this, their first release under new ownership.

The Revival has garnered many awards and much praise from folks of no less expertise and enthusiasm for the dram than that venerable Maniac, Serge Valentin, who gave it 92 points and referred to it as an “adorable whisky”. (I absolutely love that!) Nonetheless, I’m inclined in this case to disagree somewhat with the common assessment.

The Revival has been matured for 15 years in Oloroso sherry casks, and it shows: the colour is an extraordinary shade of caramel, one stewed until it was on the verge of burning. The sherry notes on the nose and palate are equally unmissable. Less obvious, but perhaps more intriguing, are the other elements of the nose: burnt caramel (much like the colour) and cherry cough syrup co-mingle with coffee, honey, marshmallow, plums, and melon. As @galg noted in his review, there is balsamic here, too, but an aged (or heavily reduced) one. This is a sumptuous, jammy nose.

The palate is where things go awry. Again, you get strikingly sweet sherry at the fore, but as notes of dark chocolate, salt-water taffy, and orange marmalade appear, it changes utterly to a tarry, persistent sourness that carries through the finish. A healthy finish is a treat, but only so long as one enjoys the lingering flavours. With the Revival, I’m not so pleased with what’s left coating my tongue.

It’s nice that the Revival has been bottled at 46% ABV, as it’s a richer dram for it. It’s smooth, but with a touch of that lovely Speyside spiciness. And while the body doesn’t impress the eye, seeming to coat the glass only thinly, it does have a redeeming mouthfeel.

This is an interesting whisky, and one to be proud of for many things. The nose alone is wondrous. However, the predominating sourness on the palate seems to me a real blight on the Revival’s character. And so it goes...

Thanks so much for the in-depth, careful review. The discussion on the "sour-ness" is helping me characterize both the HP18 (highly disappointing) and HP12 (in retrospect because did not specifically realize it immediately as it was the first scotch I bought - only that I did not like it). There is NO sourness in the Laphroaig, Ardbeg or Aberlour that I have tasted - BUT there is significant sourness in the HP 18 and severe sourness in the HP 12. I don't get it - I know these are highly rated whiskies. I am supposing the batch was bad?? Failed to clean the still sufficiently??? WTH??? Yeah - sourness in scotch as with beer is very off-putting and very unpleasant - I strongly dislike it. Viktor has encouraged me to wait a few mos which I will but I am very inclined to communicate with HP re: their "crappy scotch". The vendor, unsurprisingly, was no help in this instance...

Anyway, your review - including your comments re: "thin" is helpful. The HP is the thinest and it is really pathetic compared to the syrupy Ardbeg and Aberlour which I truely enjoy.

Thanks so much for the in-depth, careful review. The discussion on the "sour-ness" is helping me characterize both the HP18 (highly disappointing) and HP12 (in retrospect because did not specifically realize it immediately as it was the first scotch I bought - only that I did not like it). There is NO sourness in the Laphroaig, Ardbeg or Aberlour that I have tasted - BUT there is significant sourness in the HP 18 and severe sourness in the HP 12. I don't get it - I know these are highly rated whiskies. I am supposing the batch was bad?? Failed to clean the still sufficiently??? WTH??? Yeah - sourness in scotch as with beer is very off-putting and very unpleasant - I strongly dislike it. Viktor has encouraged me to wait a few mos which I will but I am very inclined to communicate with HP re: their "crappy scotch". The vendor, unsurprisingly, was no help in this instance...

Anyway, your review - including your comments re: "thin" is helpful. The HP is the thinest and it is really pathetic compared to the syrupy Ardbeg and Aberlour which I truely enjoy.

@galg

Nose: On first whiff I got some Vinegar (balsamic) notes which were weird to me. On second whiff, the Sherried elements rise : Raisins, Prunes, Hints of Chocolate and toffee. All very appetizing, besides the vinegar notes. Oliver from the whisky rating blog, explains this as acetaldehyde which is not uncommon in heavily sherried malts.

Palate: Quite a thick and viscous body. Lovely mélange of Coffee, Dark chocolate, dried fruit (as the nose suggests) and treacle. Some spice as well. Very very good sherried profile. After I tool a few sips, I couldn’t resist and filled an extra portion form my sample into the glass. I couldn’t stop. Harmonious stuff!

Finish: Medium-Long, dominated by Espresso, and dark chocolate, with a hint of spice.

This sounds intriguing. The balsamic vinegar reference is something I’ve not come across before and I’m not sure what to make of it, however, the rest of review has me sold. Added to my wish list.

yea, i am told this happens in sherry whiskies. i dont quite like it,but it's a solid dram

k

nose:clean no sulphur at all off to a good start,treacle toffee,raisins,prunes,little smoke and spice,mint,lovely rich sherry notes,lots going on. Palate:in keeping with the nose doesnt let you down chewy,rich,smooth, moreish, perfectly balanced. Finish:very long warm,creme de cassis taste,again morish.Fantastic sherried whisky at a very good price

@kian, what are "treacle toffee", and "creme de cassis", and what do they taste like? Also "morish" ? So far, sounds like a pretty desirable bottle. Thanks.

Treacle toffee is a very hard type of butter candy. Crême de cassis is a liqueur of blackcurrant. Moreish means you want more of it.

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